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[PlayStation 5] No More Heroes III Review

[PlayStation 5] No More Heroes III Review

Are you ready for No More Heroes III from XSEED Games, Grasshopper Manufacture, and SUDA51 on PlayStation 5? Then check out our No More Heroes III review!


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“So, it turns out that ET was the bad guy all along.”

“Wait, really?”

“Yeah! So, after returning to his home, 20 years later, ET is back with his gang to destroy Earth for kicks and giggles.”

“Okay, so… what do we do?”

“I guess we could gather all of Earth’s mightiest heroes.”

“Right, and… what if all we have is Travis Touchdown?”

“Who- what- Are there no more heroes?”

“There are No More Heroes.”

And that is the premise of No More Heroes III in a nutshell. Grasshopper Manufacture, SUDA51, and XSEED Games are back with the third installment of the No More Heroes series. At first glance, you would be forgiven for failing to figure out what is new. It’s strange how a game that the third in a series can feel pretty much the same as its predecessors, but then again, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Travis is once again fighting assassins in a ranking system where he is only allowed to fight the one right above him – because reasons. There are aliens everywhere taking over the world, and only Travis seems to be the one allowed to challenge them based on a technicality. But in order to do that, he must first pay the admin fees so he can formally challenge his next target because, again, reasons.

Of course, Travis can only pay off his bills and get some extra money by completing menial tasks such as mowing the lawn of his neighbors, picking up trash, and shooting giant alligators with tanks – you know, the usual. You’d think the governments of the world would pool their funds together and help the guy pay the fees needed to go up in the ranking, seeing as the fate of the world depends on him. Perhaps I’m overthinking things. If you are a fan of the series, then you already know that overthinking is not something you do with a SUDA51/Grasshopper game you are better off just going with it, and by doing so, No More Heroes III proves to be a fun little endeavor.

No More Heroes III Review - 1

Since this is the third one in the franchise, that means that by this point, the gameplay is tried and tested and will be familiar to those of you that have played the previous two entries – and the crazier offshoot. Combat is free flowing and follows the now standard Square button for light attacks and Triangle button for heavy attacks, but it deviates a bit and uses the X to dodge rather than the standard Circle button. Pressing the Circle button will make Travis jump. This might seem a small nitpick since the controls feel fluid and responsive, especially when you dodge in the nick of time to activate the perfect dodge mechanic, where the game slows down time momentarily to allow you to have more time to smack your enemies.


Those familiar with the series will be all too familiar with Travis’ temperamental beam katana. Use it to attack over and over again, and it will run out of juice and need to be recharged in a now infamously suggestive manner by holding down the R1 button and wiggling the right analog stick up and down – things were even more suggestive in the original version of the first game – and its sequel – on Nintendo Switch. If you rely overly on this method to recharge your weapon, combat can become overly tedious and repetitive. However, beneath the silliness of the combat lies some depth.

If you attack opponents enough times, Travis can trigger special moves that are activated via the right stick, and if you stun certain enemies, you can use grapple moves on them, which will not only inflict massive damage on your enemy but also refill your weapon’s reserve. If you are able to get a chain going, you can demolish most enemies in an embarrassing heartbeat. That is not to say the combat is pedestrian. Yes, the basic enemies you meet around town can feel samey, but the bosses do instill some intrigue and provide a good challenge with their moves and stages. The boss fights are truly the best part of the game in terms of gameplay.

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In contrast, the day-to-day life of No More Heroes III is pretty mundane. There is an open world that is broken into different districts that unlock as you progress through the story. Each district is distinct enough, but the size of each one is so tiny that it is possible to get from one end to the other in about a minute whilst riding your motorcycle. In fairness, the maps are littered with side activities and a wealth of collectibles. You will need to partake in these activities should you wish to raise the funds needed to pay your entry fees to each ranking battle. Whilst these activities are fun at first, they do become a bit tedious as you go on. The repetitive enemies you face during combat challenges are almost as annoying as the fact that the world map is sparse and seems to only be populated by a few people that are palette swapped a million times.


There are a lot of design choices that will leave newcomers scratching their heads, but in fairness, the longtime fans are not here for that. They are here for the pop culture references, the easter eggs, and the wackiness. Anyone familiar with a SUDA51 game will know that they are almost always filled to the brim with film references, and this one is no exception. Expect to see a lot of anime references from the admittedly expertly done opening and closing cutscenes that punctuate the start and end of each chapter or the references to Terminator and X-Files that bookend each transition to a fight. There are even references and homages that come out of nowhere, from lengthy discussions of Takeshi Miike’s filmography and references to Netflix and Taylor Swift of all things… long story short, this game is weird, and to most of you, that will be endearing, but to a few, it might feel over the top and unrelatable.

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Presentation-wise, the game is a mishmash of styles and ideas all blended together seamlessly. Well, most of the time. But it does not stop you from getting the occasional whiplash. One minute you are fighting dudes with a sword. Next, you are fighting as a Gundam-style mech against some giant head monster only to be interjected by a 1980s-style text-based novella? Was that what that was? Anyway, do not dwell on any of this. The game does not expect you to. You are supposed to enjoy the ride, and for the most part, you do!

No More Heroes III Review - 3

Let’s address the obvious first. This game was first made for the Nintendo Switch and is now being ported to the PlayStation 5, and it shows. From the sparsely populated yet minuscule world to the fact that in this age of accessibility and options, there are no graphical options to speak of – and whatever you do, don’t address the fact that Travis’ Death Glove looks like a Switch. Graphically speaking, those who are used to their games looking above a certain quality will be somewhat disappointed. This game is just a straight port and most definitely could have taken advantage of the power of the PlayStation 5 for, say, loading times between zones. Whilst not egregious, they are notable nonetheless.

In fairness, the game is by no means ugly – far from it. It makes do with what it has, but there are times when the cracks in the visual quality and other limitations do show. Counter to them is the soundtrack. Just as everything else in No More Heroes III, it’s a mix of styles and genres, and it is all the better for it. From the hip-hop beats to the anime-style pop songs, the soundtrack is varied and does its part to keep the fun going. You can also swap between the English and Japanese audio option.

No More Heroes III Review - 4

No More Heroes III has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy, and there’s a lot to do as you work on unlocking the 43 Bronze trophies, 4 Silver trophies, and 3 Gold trophies. Some trophies will pop as you progress through the game’s story, completing each episode as you rise in the ranking. You’ll get trophies for completing the game in the different difficulty settings. You can also get trophies by changing your clothes, buying all types of takeout sushi, finding all of the hidden scorpions in the game, collecting all of the capsule toys, clearing all defense missions, performing 100 wrestling moves, or performing 50 perfect dodges.

All in all, No More Heroes III is a solid game that is a must for fans of the series, but newcomers will no doubt feel underwhelmed by the presentation but might be taken in by the charm the game exudes. If you love a good otaku-based collect-a-thon and “out of this world” anime-esque combat with a liberal amount of literal toilet humor thrown in, then No More Heroes III is going to tick all of those boxes. The game is out on PlayStation on October 11.

No More Heroes III Review - 5

This No More Heroes III review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by XSEED Games.

Review Overview

Can Travis Touchdown save Earth from the aliens?